CALS students in a lab

Graduate Programs

We develop global thinkers to impact the future of production, supply, sustainability and well-being.

Start Your Future NOW

We want you here. Our scientists shape the future of agricultural and life sciences through purposeful research and education, offering a wealth of inclusive, diverse programs to ignite your academic and professional future.

Our programs prepare you for careers in academia, government, business, industry or the non-profit sector. Discover your potential now.

Five focus areas of CALS graduate programs.

CALS Graduate Programs and Degrees

How do I choose the right program?

Consider several factors when deciding to attend graduate school: Does your desired career path require an advanced degree? Will a graduate degree help advance your career or increase salary? Which degree is suitable for your goals?

We offer the following graduate degree options:

Professional Master: A Professional Master is a non-thesis degree that may require a project to graduate. This degree program is a strong choice if you do not plan to pursue a doctorate.

Master of Science (M.S.): The M.S. is a research-based degree that requires completion of a thesis. This degree program is a strong choice if you plan to pursue a doctorate.

Ph.D. and Ed.D.: The Ph.D. is a research degree for students planning careers in higher education. The Ed.D. is designed for students seeking careers in education administration. Students with clearly defined goals and who are passionate about their research do well in these intense degree programs.

CALS Graduate Programs

Our students pursue graduate and professional degrees in many areas, including:

Still unsure?

If you think a graduate degree will help you achieve your career goals but are still unsure, you can take courses without entering a degree program. Visit the Non-Degree Studies webpage for more information. If you later decide to enroll in a graduate program, up to 12 credits of appropriate courses can be applied to your graduate program.

CALS PhD Applied Ecology Emily Reed

Reimagining Women in STEM

Growing up thinking she should avoid math and physics, Emily Reed took a molecular and cellular biology course in her junior year with an excellent female professor, and it changed the course of her life. Now on her way to obtaining a Ph.D. in applied ecology, Reed hopes to continue research outside of academia.

Learn more about Emily's journey

Online and Distance Education

Student on a laptop in student union.

Solve global grand challenges in agriculture and life sciences from wherever you are. CALS offers online and distance education graduate courses and certificates to suit your schedule and educational needs.

Student researcher looking for ants near a tree on NC State's campus

Ants for Antibiotics?: Omar Halawani Is on the Hunt

How do ant colonies defend themselves from harmful bacteria? NC State master’s student Omar Halawani is looking for answers.

Read Omar's story

Research Facilities

Our important work extends beyond every lab and classroom wall.

We have on- and off-campus research facilities specifically equipped to support research programs. Graduate students work closely with our researchers, pioneering breakthroughs in their fields.

Career Services

CALS graduates blaze paths with careers in academia, government, business and industry and graduate ready to turn complex problems into viable solutions for our state, nation and world.

We help put your degree to work. Make an appointment with a CALS career advisor to talk about graduate school and career options.

Explore CALS Career Services



Financial Support

NC State offers graduate students financial assistance for tuition and living expenses, including fellowships/traineeships; teaching, research or service assistantships; federal work-study programs; and loans. Contact the departmental director of graduate programs for information, and visit the NC State Graduate School website for more information on financial aid options.